Washington, DC – From January 28 to February 3, 2014, Dr. Radwan Ziadeh, head of the newly established Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice, visited the Republic of South Africa to learn from the South African reconciliation experience and apply lessons learned to the Syrian context. During the trip, Dr. Ziadeh participated in a multi-day conference held by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.Additionally he met with a variety of non-governmental organizations engaged in human rights, transitional justice, and national reconciliation, including: the International Center for Transitional Justice, Khulumani Support Group, the Legal Resources Center, and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. Dr. Ziadeh also visited Constitution Hill, a former notorious prison complex that is now the location of South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
Additionally, Dr. Ziadeh was able to meet with former officials of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and gain crucial insight into accountability and prosecution mechanisms, reparation of victims, and possible methods for conducting a comprehensive national reconciliation program in Syria.
The Syrian Interim Government established the Syrian Commission for Transitional Justice in November 2013. The Commission is tasked with leading on the transitional justice file in Syria.